It was a mega slipstream battle between Mercedes and Ferrari as Kimi Raikkonen took pole position. Fingernails and toenails were bitten to the bone as each driver crossed the finish line. In the process, Raikkonen set the fastest ever lap time, beating the record set by Juan Pablo Montoya.
There was also a bit of drama in Q2 as Fernando Alonso and Kevin Magnussen got in each others’ way. Although the cloud cover looked ominous, there was no threat of rain. In the meantime, Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas took 3rd and 4th respectively. They start ahead of Max Verstappen and Romain Grosjean in that order. Behind them are Carlos Sainz, Esteban Ocon, Pierre Gasly and Lance Stroll.
In Q2, Magnussen’s and Alonso’s shenanigans got them demoted to 11th and 13th with Sergey Sirotkin slotted in between them. Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo ended up 14th and 15th, but will start at the back due to penalties.
In Q1, Sergio Perez was caught out as he was relegated by the other drivers, to finish 16th. Behind him are Charles LeClerc, Brendon Hartley, Marcus Ericsson and Stoffel Vandoorne propping up the rear.
Lance Stroll was particularly delighted to start in the top 10, especially after the team’s struggles. What made matters even better for Williams was the fact that Sergey Sirotkin was able to start as high as 12th. In the meantime, the incident between Fernando Alonso and Kevin Magnussen is under investigation. The two even clashed over it, as did their team bosses. It was certainly a dramatic moment in qualifying and provided a bit of entertainment.
It was a strategic game as the drivers jostled to stick to the back of their teammates. There were even battles to find the perfect position in the pack, which probably explains the Alonso-Magnussen incident.
Here is how Twitter reacted to qualifying.
All RED first row! POLE number 219 for the Scuderia! #Kimi7 sets the #F1 speed record of all times. 1:19.119 #Seb5 P2 1:19.280 great job for the TEAM! #ItalianGP #ForzaFerrari pic.twitter.com/ErS0szLABD
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) September 1, 2018
— Sankalp Dwivedi (@SankalpDwivedi) September 1, 2018
— Rōnin (@alkesh_dwivedi) September 1, 2018
— Scrambled Brain (@bhejamasala) September 1, 2018
I hope Ferrari don’t ruin Kimi’s race tomorrow🤔 #ItalianGP
— T R E Y ● (@trenaayy) September 1, 2018
— Patrick (@PatrickSikler) September 1, 2018
— F1 Madness 🏁 (@F1_Madness) September 1, 2018
— Free Mind (@mevistox5) September 1, 2018